The impact of Covid-19 on people living with sight loss

September 15, 2020

In May we launched a survey about the impact of Covid-19 on people living with sight loss in Ireland. We wanted to understand and capture how the pandemic was affecting people and offer them the opportunity to voice their opinion.

We shared the survey through email, our website and social media channels. We received 126 responses and we’re so grateful to everyone who took the time to complete it.

You can read a summary of the findings below or read the full report here (PDF). If you prefer, you can download a Word version of the report here.

Summary findings

The Covid-19 crisis has predominantly not impacted respondents personal finances (46% no change), personal relationships (44% no change), physical health (49% no change) and work or education (58% no change). However, 88% of people said their social life had gotten worse and 54% of people saw a decline in their mental health.

A majority of people (72%) said Covid-19 has not impacted their access to grocery shopping. The respondents that did experience issues reported long delays for online delivery slots.

Most respondents (76%) agreed their eye condition has made it more difficult to follow social distancing rules and also more difficult to cope with the lockdown (63%). The majority also agreed that they are concerned that the Covid-19 crisis will delay or impact vision research and clinical trials (87%).

A lot of people (48%) said that the pandemic has not impacted upon their access to treatment, however, 36% did report cancelled appointments.

In terms of emotional support, people leaned on family (69%), friends (63%) and peer support networks (25%). Most respondents (66%) felt their geographic location did not limit their access to emotional or mental health services and 61% agreed telephone or online supports are a suitable alternative source of emotional support.

How we can help

Our Insight Counselling and Support Service offers a variety of free services that includes individual telephone counselling but also a range of online groups that focus on a peer support approach. Visit our Covid-19 resources page for a full list of what’s available or call the team on 01 674 6496.